No. 3 — No Packers-Bears until almost December?
After successive years of watching the Chicago Bears turn into a Pop Warner pee-wee league team versus the Green Bay Packers in Week One, consider me absolutely on-board with the idea of not seeing this team until almost December.
The Packers are generating more buzz than they probably hoped. In drafting Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, the could-be successor in a line of Packers quarterback dominance, one has to imagine Aaron Rodgers is prepared for a dominant, resurgent year.
Hall of Famers have a way of rebranding themselves to overcome limitations. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rodgers throws on some Just For Men hair dye, taps into his inner Madden, and comes back faster, stronger, and more deadly. Unlikely, maybe. But at this point, does anything surprise you about No. 12?
So, for that reason, it’s reassuring that the Bears won’t have to deal with any of those shenanigans until the Sunday after Thanksgiving when Rodgers has had time to cool, enjoy family, and perhaps — in his own words, — “r-e-l-a-x” a little bit.
It’s been quite some time since the Bears have had it play out in this fashion. You have to go all the way back to 2013, during the Cutler-Trestman peak. In that year, the Bears and Packers didn’t meet up until Nov. 4th, when Chicago took Rodgers’ shoulder, and he subsequently took their season, by virtue of the 48-yard Hail Mary in Week 17 to win the NFC North. Excuse me for a second; someone’s cutting onions.
Anyways, that brings forth another thought. The schedule makers provided somewhat of a cushion. You never want to play Aaron Rodgers in a must-win game, but if you have to, you probably aren’t trying to go to Lambeau Field to do so. The Bears’ season closes out in a Week 17 game at Soldier Field, and if history serves us anything, it’s certainly likely this game has Playoff implications tied to it.
Here’s the downer: since 2013, the Bears have only won 12 of a possible 33 games in the month of December, the equivalent of a 5-win team. But, in the Nagy era, they’re 6-3. So, something’s gotta give. Let’s just hope the Bears are the ones doing the winning this time around.